I’ve written before that one of the trends for 2022 was to implement a people-oriented culture and that necessarily means a shift from the model that has been used so far. A “people-oriented culture” is the opposition to traditional models based on hierarchical systems and productivity. It values people over profit.
The management of a people-oriented company understands that treating employees with respect and showing appreciation can lead to better outcomes. Studies have shown that culture-driven companies experience 26% fewer mistakes, 22% higher productivity, 41% lower absenteeism, and 30% stronger customer satisfaction. Also, employees are twice as likely to recommend their company to a friend and three times more likely to stay.
I’ll give you five tips to implement a people-oriented culture.
1. Feedback is key
The idea of giving yearly performance reviews is no longer enough and it should be replaced by regular and more consistent one-on-ones, instant feedback and regular feedback sessions (15 minutes is enough). The goal is to create a feedback loop, to help people know where they’re headed, what they’re doing right and where they can improve.
When employees feel they can receive constructive criticism, they will feel more empowered and understand how to grow in their roles. And in order for them to be fully aligned, they need to clearly understand their roles and the part they play in fulfilling the organisation’s expectations and aspirations.
l The better leaders and employees talk to each other the more productive, efficient, and collaborative the environment will be. The lack of clear and constant communication will increase confusion and misalignment. Overcommunication helps leaders reinforce important messages, like the company’s vision, priorities and values, and guarantees everyone’s on the same page.
2. Give thanks
Giving thanks is also feedback and it’s also needed. A recent study states that waiting more than a week to follow-up with an employee when they did an amazing job is too long. It’s becoming more common for workers to leave their jobs when they go above and beyond and are rarely recognised for it. The study suggests that in order to keep employees engaged, the recognition should be given on a weekly basis.
Of course, meeting with every employee who did a good job weekly can be time consuming, so here’s two tips: send an email thanking them for their hard work or write them a LinkedIn recommendation based on the project they excelled at. The employees can also be rewarded, whether it’s a bonus or perks like extra vacation time. Positivity is a tool for success, because giving and receiving thanks will create trust both horizontally and vertically.
3. Power to the people
It’s Steve Jobs’ advice all over, “it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell what to do”. According to McKinsey, the key to achieving better delegated decisions is to empower employees by developing their managerial capabilities to give them the authority and power to act.
Empowering through autonomy has been directly linked to increased employee motivation. More than 70% of executives realise employee engagement is key to organisation success, resulting in 22% higher productivity and more than twice as much annual net income.
When employees are allowed to make some decisions on their own, like when or how they tackle projects, it gives them a sense of ownership over their work. And these employees are 67% more willing to put an extra effort on their job.
Also, allowing employees to speak up when they don’t agree with something, makes them feel heard, that their opinion matters and ultimately gives them a sense of belonging and of being part of a team.
4. Be flexible
More than half of employees surveyed around the world (54%) in 2021, said they would consider quitting their jobs if they didn’t have some flexibility in where and when they worked. Being in control of their lives and tasks increases both their engagement and productivity.
The fact that a company can trust them, helps them feel appreciated and they will reciprocate by investing more effort in their work and the company. Employees who are confined by strict hours spend more time looking at non-working related tasks than at being productive and the quality of work ends up suffering significantly. Flexibility has the power to promote job satisfaction, which will translate into corporate growth and profitability.
5. Promote diversity and inclusion
Another thing that flexibility can bring is opening up a job role to a much wider range of people, such as parents who can work from home. It could also benefit gender diversity by increasing the number of working women, but also people of different religions, who wouldn’t need to take days off for religious fasting days or ceremonies, for instance.
Creating a more diverse workplace requires a much needed shift from the status quo. A wider range of perspectives and experiences are heard, valued and embraced and this type of culture can create an inclusive environment and boost retention of a diverse workforce.
One study found that 47% of people actively looking for a new job cited company culture as the main reason. Companies where differing perspectives and voices are silenced or ignored will struggle to hire and retain talent.
Leading by example
Throughout this whole article I didn’t mention caring for mental and physical health—like burnout, depression, anxiety or even RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)—nor did I mention a good work-life balance, because at this point employees aren’t even considering a job position if those two aren’t in play.
But having only those two perks will make companies fall short. Implementing a people-oriented culture takes time and planning. I’m a firm believer that you have to practice what you preach, that’s why at Landing.Jobs we’re giving firm steps towards putting our people first.
We have frequent team buildings, monthly meetings with all our team members, regardless from where they are in the world, (even those who are abroad, so we can know each other and be togethers), every month we vote for “the lander of the month” who’s awarded an extra vacation day, we have landing breaks every two weeks and we recently had two team members moving to South America and becoming what it is now known as “digital nomads”. It’s been a learning process and I feel this is just the beginning. A process that I’m more than willing to share with you.
Landing.Jobs can help you find the right tech talent for the job regardless of where they are in the world and also provide practical solutions to help you overcome the challenges of hiring and paying people anywhere. Book your free demo to find out how we can help you put your people first.